The Xbox One is an eighth-generation video game console developed by Microsoft. Unveiled on May 21, 2013, it succeeds the Xbox 360 and competes head-on with Sony’s PlayStation 4, and more indirectly with the Wii U and then Nintendo’s Switch. It has been available since 22 November 2013 in 13 countries and since September 2014 in 26 other countries. Initially only marketed with Kinect, Microsoft offers the console alone from June 9, 2014.
Equipped with an AMD processor, the machine is equipped with a Blu-ray or Blu-ray Ultra HD player and a removable 500GB, 1TO or 2T hard drive depending on the model, designed to make it an integrated entertainment system. The Kinect device integration allows the console to respond to voice commands or user-driven movements and be associated with a video conferencing feature.
At E3 2016, the Xbox One S is presented. 40% smaller and slightly more powerful than the classic Xbox One, the Xbox One S has a Blu-Ray Ultra HD player, an internal power supply, and can now be placed vertically. It was released on August 2, 20166. At E3 2017, the Xbox One X is introduced and is capable of displaying native Ultra HD. It was released on November 7, 2017.
The console development kit is codenamed Durango7. The final version, called Xbox One, was officially presented on May 21, 2013 during a live broadcast hosted by Microsoft8. Additional details and information are presented at a new conference on 10 June 2013 on the occasion of E3 20139, later, at the show the console is playable by the public10.
The machine responds to user-dictated voice commands11. It was during the console’s first presentation, on May 21, 2013, that Yusef Mehdi, vice president of The Microsoft Interactive entertainment division, demonstrated that, by stating “Xbox on” and then “Xbox, go home,” pushed the console to start up and then return to the main menu after navigating its interface12.
At the same time, at an event in London to celebrate the Xbox One announcement, Microsoft’s UK sales manager says the new Kinect device model must be connected for the console to work.13
At the console presentation conference, Microsoft announced that internet access was required. Thus, after a twenty-four hours without being connected, the console would no longer be able to read and run the games14. For second-hand games, the games could be resold in “partner shops.” Microsoft announces that it does not directly tax resale, but allows third-party publishers to implement such a policy15. In terms of sharing, it would be possible to give a game only once, and to a person that the player has had in his list of friends for a period of at least thirty days. Microsoft assures that “up to ten family members will be able to play your shared library.”
Finally, after much criticism and in the face of competition that does not apply a similar policy, Microsoft is forced to backtrack on June 19, 2013 by cancelling all these constraints, with the goal of returning to the standards of the Xbox 36016,17. A patch provided by a system update is required to remove the DRM and the mandatory connection to the internet18.
A month later, Microsoft, wishing to get closer to independent publishers, declared (through Marc Whitten) that the need to partner with a licensed publisher to publish a video game for Xbox One was cancelled. In addition, all consoles sold commercially can be used as a development kit. Finally, Marc Whitten announces that there is no limit on the types of games that can be created19. The console was released in France, Germany, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Austria, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand on November 22, 20131, then in Japan and 25 other countries in September 201420.
In June 2015, at E3 2015, Microsoft introduced several things including different games, a new controller (Elite) for demanding players, retrocompatibility with Xbox 360 games, Xbox Game Preview (allowing you to try games in preview), a partnership with Oculus2 Rift1.
At E3 2016, Microsoft introduces various games, the Xbox Play Anywhere (possibility to start a game on PC and finish it on Xbox and vice versa), a program (Xbox Design Lab) to customize according to the wishes an Xbox One controller (Xbox One Elite controller is not included) and the confirmation of Project Scorpio (which will later, Xbox One X)22.
At E3 2017, Microsoft presents various games, its Project Scorpio under the name Xbox One X, the retrocompatibility with the games of the 1st Xbox on Xbox One, the ability to play Minecraft with players from different platforms (Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PC and mobile WP/W10M, Android and iOS, but not on PS4 following Sony’s refusal of the cross-platform for commercial reasons), Minecraf2
On November 22, 2013, Microsoft confirmed that it sold one million consoles in the first 24 hours of the market. The Xbox One is the best-selling console on Black Friday in the United States24. On December 11, 2013, Microsoft announced that approximately 2 million units had been sold in the first 18 days of marketing25. On January 6, 2014, the firm revealed that nearly 3 million consoles were sold worldwide in 201326. For 2013, in France, the Xbox One sold 126,201 copies27.
On April 18, 2014 Microsoft announced that it had distributed 5 million copies of the Xbox One since its launch28. It was only two months later that there was a significant jump in the number of consoles sold. Following the release in June of the Kinect-free console for $100 less, Microsoft announced that it had doubled its sales compared to May in the United States29.
Total sales of 8th generation home consoles (millions)